Gove on – Education – EduKardasian – I8ucat

I make few public friends for believing in the adage of  ’Those who can do, those who can’t – teach’, however despite the public protestations to the contrary, in private conversations, I am not so far off the general consensus. I also proscribe to a concept of a generation that latchkey children would lead to feral cats bringing up feral cats and thus it has turned out.

Whilst I absolutely believe that parents have a direct responsibility for their children and Education matters – after all I am a product of an ‘Officer Class and a boarding education’ – and look what you end up with…. an anarcho-capitalist.

Education - EduKardasian - I8ucat - cartoon credit Paul Meagher

Education – EduKardasian – I8ucat – cartoon credit Paul Meagher

However – Politicians also, sadly, have a part to play and we find Mr. Gove continuing with the chase to the bottom and division and in these days of latchkey children, an ever more important role to play, yet he is even now pontificating on education censorship.

We find Grammar Schools are out – but different exams for the exam proficient and those who are not are very much in, as there exists an apartheid in the UK. If your child is deemed ‘too thick’ it will take an exam that will guarantee it can only at best achieve a grade C.

This is a step procedure to ensure that you, the absent parent, doesn’t quite appreciate and a way of obscuring the boundary. For sure, one may rail against ‘elitism’, however, the so called equality for all –  does result in Gove predicating  - your child can take a proper exam or your child is an I8ucat.

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Should the Police be above the law?

Self evidently Police Officers are treated as being above the law, but should this be the case?

Should the Police be above the law?

Should the Police be above the law?

A quarter of a million stop and search events last year were unlawful, but despite the numbers and the acknowledgement that Police Officers carrying out unlawful stop and searches, were as a result breaking the law themselves – how many Police Officers have been charged with Civil or Criminal offences over this illegal activity?

The murder of members of the public, or as the state prefers to call it – unlawful killing, results in very few charges ever being brought and even fewer convictions.

The mounting evidence of endemic Police corruption, going back decades is and always has been brushed aside as merely a small problem, or something from the past. Neither is true and it should not be tolerated.

Police regions are investigated by other police regions and the IPCC is filled with former Police Officers so it is hardly a surprise that little changes and the arrogance and indifference grows ever more prevalent.

Should the Police be above the law? – In my view an emphatic no.

The UK Subs – Police State seems appropriate for the song of the day.

Submission: The Best of UK Subs (1982-1998) – UK Subs

*Purchases made throught the iTunes link will result in Anarchy in The UK earning a commission.

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I want to eat my cake

It is often possible to tell when either Labour or The Conservatives are having problems raising money as at that moment they point the finger at the other party.

I want to eat my cake

I want to eat my cake

The Conservatives would appear to be suffering as they wag their fingers at the internecine relationship between The Labour Party and Trades Unions. Which given that The Labour Party was created by Trades Unions is as ridiculous as whining about The Tories being funded by those with a vested interest in slicing tax rates.

When either part hits this point they raise the spectre of tax payers funding Political Parties. The logic that the Tories use to upset themselves about Labour party funding is the unfairness of a system by which non-party members of Trades Unions are forced to fund the party and arguing that their system of funding by choice is far better before slipping in to Tax Payers should fund it all as that would be fairer. I think that perhaps just a cursory glance at the reason given as to why Labour funding is wrong and then positing all taxpayers regardless of party affiliation should fund everyone, just slips down a big logic crack. Labour objects to Tory funding on the basis that people giving through their own choice just isn’t democratic… erm?

The idea of taxpayer funding holds far more a problem than the current system for a myriad of reasons.

It will presuppose that ant-racists are obligated to fund the BNP, that anyone who decides to set up a political party on what ever crackpot idea should be funded by everyone. It may be that the decision is made that funding will only be provided on the basis of the number of seats that a party stood for at the last election – which means that no new political party can ever get started, as they could only raise funds through the taxpayer, or is it still OK for people to donate to parties? In which case this is additional funding. How will candidates for European elections raise funding? After all parties from across Europe are absolutely entitled to, and do, select candidates for election in UK seats, is the suggestion that the UK dictates how parties in France and Germany fund their parties, or will their candidates be excluded from standing in the UK seats for the European Elections. How about Independents, council elections, parish council elections, Mayoral elections etc.?

That is before we head to tax hypothecation, which we are always told is too onerous to be worthwhile on other issues, or will the Government of the day decide on the annual budget for political parties. Would funding for political parties through taxation be protected, always increase, be subject to the same cuts as other Departments? Would we have a Minister for Party funding, a Quango, how would private party funding be regulated? The list goes on.

One vaguely intelligent idea is a cap on party income, but even that is fraught with paragraphs of problems.

The reality is that Democracy is a corrupt business and party funding is the exposed underbelly of that corruption politicians like to try and keep hidden, until they feel they may have a stick to poke the another party with, but to try and change it, is far worse than leaving it alone.




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Popularism for the sake of it

There is little doubt that many bankers lost the plot completely and it still appears many haven’t yet bothered to take on board the lesson, but that doesn’t excuse populist policies by politicians to pander to the masses, particularly when the policies are irrelevant.

Popularism for the sake of it

Popularism for the sake of it

Splitting the banks; Protecting the safe banks; Cutting loose the ‘casino banks’; too big to fail  etc. All meaningless phrases but stirring up jingoistic positive emotions.

If we look at the so called safe banks – Northern Rock – the straw that broke the camels back in the UK. Not a bank too big to fail and not an investment bank, but a major mortgage lender Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which broke the back of the American banking system, both mortgage lenders. These institutions, in a similar vein to all mortgage lenders were in a market of easy credit and high demand fuelled by sharply rising house prices, which led them to take ever greater risks in lending.

To enable them to continue with their rapidly extending loan books and retain a balance sheet to enable them to loan out more mortgages, the mortgage lenders borrowed from other banks by using as assets these mortgage loans. The Investment Banks, then bundled the loans together and sold those on. The various instruments used by the Investment Banks relied on knowing what was inside this bundle of debt and rather than picking out each loan individually themselves looked to the Ratings agencies to risk assess the loans.

Once people started to default on their mortgages the original lenders no longer had the income stream to payback their debts to their creditors  and immediately the Investment Banks started to question the real value of these bundles, whilst at the same time not receiving income from the ‘safe banks’ they had lent to in the first place. It transpired that the Ratings Agencies had been lax in assessing the risk of these bundles and the whole house fell down.

If people want to point a finger – it is at anyone who defaulted on their mortgage, the secondary fault lies with the ‘safe banks’ who not only made the original loans but then chased more capital by using these as assets, the third line is the Ratings Agencies who didn’t do their job. The ‘Casino banks‘ are four steps away from the reason for the collapse.

But let us move away from the facts behind the collapse and work with the faulty premise.

Investment Banks provide the capital to make the world of socio-capitalism work, without them there is no lending, raising of capital, currency risk management, futures pricing etc. and this fantasy world of socio-capitalism, which relies on credit will collapse in a heap as the only ability to trade will be through cash in hand.

Personal Banking – the safe banks – is but a part of, not apart from, the capital markets and for anyone to posit allowing Investment Banks to collapse at a whim in the future is the solution, is either deluded or a politician pandering to Popularism for the sake of it, as it simply will not happen.

Join Tim Whale on twitter for more thoughts from the outside.


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It’s not our fault – it isn’t

Or as Johnny Rotten memorably put it – Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated -. So we turn to the rationale behind the proposed MPs pay rise which is anticipated to be in the region of 10% this year.



My scant views on the real independence of The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority prior to the legislation passed on the 20th July 2009 were expressed at the time as my derisive comments of the real independence of IPSA in November of 2009 and nothing has changed. I have been looking forward to the Audited Accounts for IPSA being published, which should be imminent, as the last accounts were published on the 2nd July 2012 and I will come back to them in due course.

Politicians (and the Journalists who follow their every move like fawning puppies) would have us believe that MPs are damned if they carry out their own review or damned if  ’an independent body’ carries out the review. In simple terms, IPSA, is not an Independent body, but another example of smoke and mirrors.

The commentary by Ian Kennedy, sums up the den of sleaze that is Westminster. He states -

‘..we know what happens when the element of pay is pushed aside as being simply too hard – the ‘nods and winks’ school of public financing emerges, and ultimately we end up with circumstances like 2009. No-one wanted the system that brought Parliament to its knees in 2009 to come into being, but it was the inevitable result of hard decisions deferred….’

Strip away the verbosity of language, he argues – if we don’t pay MPs more they will fiddle their expenses. I leave you to consider whether MPs, who are judged by a so called independent body as systemically corrupt, are MPs fit to serve.

Kennedy further adds -

‘..And, by way of a reminder, the legislation that gave us this responsibility is quite clear: the power to set the pay and pensions of MPs rests with IPSA alone. MPs do not get to vote. The Government does not get to pick and choose. There is no opting in or out…’

We have heard from many politicians that they won’t take their pay rise. Once it is in place, do you, I, or even the place-man Kennedy responsible for overseeing Parliamentary standards, really believe that these worthy types – to paraphrase - the ‘nods and winks’ school of public financing will emerge’ won’t quietly take their increased salaries a few months after the brouhaha has died down?

Or as Johnny Rotten put it -

Join Tim Whale on Twitter for an alternative view.


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Should I Stay Or Should I Go – The EU referendum

The debate rages on over EU membership and the rights and wrongs of a referendum.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

Regardless of the call for a referendum or which side of the argument one sits, there does seem once again to be a missing element to the discussion.

Much is made of the fact that the last referendum vote on what was then called the Common Market was back in 1975 with many arguing this isn’t fair as they have never had their say on the matter, continuing with the argument that by holding the vote this will seal the deal forever. Little regard seems to be given for those who in another 40 years will be arguing that they too never had the opportunity to vote for membership.

If there is to be a referendum, then the framework should be set for this to happen cyclically, but typically, the myopic blinkered vision fails to address what will be an ongoing issue for future generations. Similar issues lie ahead with Welsh and Scottish devolution, regardless of the full Scottish split, where this generation feels they have the right to as is so often said ‘settle the argument once and for all’.

If people are calling for a referendum, they should also be calling for a second referendum in 10-15 years as part of an ongoing process.

I am minded of The Clash and Should I Stay Or Should I Go as the song for the day.

Combat Rock – The Clash is available on iTunes.*

Join Tim Whale on Twitter for more perspectives.

*Purchases made through the iTunes link will result in Anarchy in the UK earning a commission.


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You have our permission to think

The tactic of nudge, neuro-linguistic programming, or – you have our permission to think.

You have our permission to think

You have our permission to think

The manipulation of the masses has been employed by institutions of the state as a matter of course going back centuries. This process has become far easier since the development of mass communication, particularly since the times of news-print, through radio, television and now the internet.

The ownership and governance of much of the mainstream media has been brought inside the pillars of the state, regardless of the supposed ‘freedom of the press’.  Media stories follow a barrage of the same nothingness over a newsflash for the day, never actually exploring the roots, causes and effects, before flipping on to the next headline.

I have scant regard for mainstream media ‘journalists’ as I am not convinced that most mainstream journalists have not been duped in the same hypnotic trance as the mainstream of the public, else they wouldn’t keep pronouncing the messages of their employer and the State.

When so called – serious editorial – is delivered by the media of the masses, the criticisms are always around areas that suit the direction of travel. In the UK criticisms of the State have focussed on issues which are presented as historical notes of interest, obfuscating the far more important current abuses of influence.

NLP has developed into a series of techniques designed to direct the path of criticism into a dead-end, whilst blithely long acknowledged rights, entitlements and simple humane treatment is allowed to slip past on the wing.  I am aiming to bring you an interview to talk about the power of Nudge thinking.

The criticisms of the Police and spotlight on sexual predators and the failings in the NHS, focuses the mind, as these are the hot-buttons in the British psyche, whilst the country misses the main events.

Go back just three years and Osborne announcing £ 6 200 000 000 worth of cuts and the country was aghast, slide forward to just last month an announcement of £11 500 000 000 of cuts, with another £20 000 000 to come next year and nary a whisper. A State Pension, to which people make a contribution and is part of their retirement savings plan is now a Welfare Benefit, a food bank is a good and decent part of Cameron‘s Big Society, employers being subsidised to the tune of billions in tax credits, housing benefits, income support top-ups are doing the right thing, a country in which the richest 10% of households own 850 times the total wealth of the bottom 10% is a sign of things being on the right path.

To criticise these facts is an unacceptable though process, particularly if the question of the advantages of the socio-capitalist trickle down wealth is raised. You are allowed to criticise the poor, the Police – though only their historical performance, News International and one or two scapegoats in the NHS.  But focus on the real world – permission denied.

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The lessons never learnt by finger pointing

Having spent many years in business one basic lesson I learnt very early on was do not try to promote your product by criticising your competition. Politicians have never learnt that very basic tenet of communication.

The lessons never learnt by finger pointing

The lessons never learnt by finger pointing

There are many reasons for not promoting through criticism, but the most relevant and one that political advisers despite all their think tanks have never learnt is that pointing out faults in your competition raises doubts in the minds of your audience in the credibility of your own message through association.

Politicians of all parties in the UK and political commentators speak regularly of the falling numbers of voters and the need to try and engage people with politics, yet their main message of communication is to inform the general public that the other lot are rubbish because in 1996 one of their forebears said this or that. Or in the case of Prime Ministers Questions just yesterday, The Labour party can’t be trusted because they are funded by UNITE and The Conservatives can’t be trusted because they are funded by wealthy.

One would have thought that perhaps amongst the myriad of talking heads at least one lone voice would spot neither argument is particularly relevant and even more importantly all it sends out as a message is don’t trust them because they are worse than us.

The end result of this continued sniping has a direct correlation to the continued fall in people actually voting and party membership. As the message of finger pointing has increased over the years, so the number of voters and party members has dropped.

I am minded to Chasing Shadows by The Newds for today’s song of the day.

The EP – Ready  is available on Amazon*

Join Tim Whale on Twitter for more songs of the day.

*Purchases made through the Amazon link will result in Anarchy In The UK earning a commission.

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And that makes sixteen

With UN peacekeepers taking over from the French and African troops in Mali at the beginning of this month the UN is running sixteen peace-keeping missions around the world, which includes the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) covering Afghanistan, which is completely separate to ISAF.

And that makes sixteen

And that makes sixteen

With over 200 000 military personnel deployed on the ground with troops from well over a hundred countries, attempting to keep up with the acronyms in use is in itself a full time mission. The latest iteration being  Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Whilst programmes are in the main supported with personnel from a diverse range of countries there seems to be little cohesion above the line of individual programmes, which results in peacekeeping missions being sanctioned but then the scrabble to get the numbers begins.

MINUSMA is mandated for 11 200 service personnel and 1 440 police with the aim of supporting the election coming up on the 28th July the mission only has just over half the numbers required to carry out their mission.  African-led International Stabilisation Mission in Mali (AFISMA) which was folded to become part of MINUSMA – delivering 6 000 personnel, France – 1 000 and China – 500 and then nothing.

Whilst the aims of the various missions may be laudable, many of these programmes are running with fewer troops on the ground than mandated, resulting in failed missions which run far longer than necessary.

The UN must take control of their missions around the world with a far more coherent and effective approach.


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What a waste

Politicians in Westminster are often accused of being out of touch and living in their own little bubble with no real understanding of the country in which they live.

What a waste

What a waste

There continued faux pas in spending decisions, particularly those which impact on their own existence doesn’t do anything to dispel those criticisms. Most wasteful is the House of Lords.

Most recently the decision to spend £100 000 on two loos used by peers and VIP guests at the Palace of Westminster, according to a House of Commons contract.

I am somehow reminded of Ian Dury for the song for 3rd July 2013 – What a Waste.

What a Waste – Ian Dury & The Blockheads is available on iTunes*

Join Tim Whale on Twitter.

*Purchases made through the iTunes link will result in Anarchy in The UK earning a commission.

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